Our Farm & Lavender Market is open June and July every Saturday, Sunday and Monday from 10 - 5. You can find Lockwood Lavender Farm products in these retail locations. Like us on Facebook and receive up to date information on what's happening on the farm. I'm sorry we do not sell Plants.

Friday, July 1, 2011

When to pick lavender? This weekend!

The lavender is in bloom and ready to be harvested. Knowing when to pick lavender can sometimes be complicated. I found this great article by that explains when to pick lavender for drying. We met Andy at the North America Lavender Conference in 2008 and I think he is the guru of lavender. 
The Allure of Lavender
 Fine Gardening magazine

When harvesting flowers for everlastings, I check the dark flower heads daily and collect them only at the swollen bud stage, when just one or two of the flowers have opened on the flower head. Picking the flower heads at this time preserves their dark color and ensures that the flowers will stay attached to the stalk once dried. Picking flower heads once they have passed this stage results in paler flower colors and shattered flower heads. When harvesting lavender for potpourri, I'm less concerned about shattered flower heads and flower colors than I am when collecting flowers for drying on the stalk to make everlastings. I don't harvest white or pink flowering varieties for drying on the stalk, as their colors turn muddy when dried. However, they are fine for potpourri or sachet making. L. angustifolia and its cultivars are the best lavenders to use for potpourri because the oil quality is the best.

Lavandin is the only lavender to use for wand making, as its stalks are 18 to 24 inches long. When cutting fresh lavender stalks for a wand, I cut at the base of the stalk, right at the point of the first leaf. I use my pruners, but a sharp pair of scissors can also be used. Once the stalks are cut, I gather a handful together and secure them with a rubber band and lay them flat until I'm ready to bring them inside.
When drying single flower stalks, I lay them out in rows on newspapers in a dark, dry room. Keeping the flowers out of sunlight preserves their color. When drying large amounts, I hang the handful I collected in the garden from hooks in my barn, where there's plenty of air circulation and low light. It usually takes one to two weeks for lavender flowers to dry in hot summer weather. I check them every couple of days to make sure no mold has developed. The lavender scent volatizes quickly, but it can be refreshed by adding lavender oil or crushing some of the flowers. Store dried lavender out of direct sunlight to preserve its color and scent.

Here are the varieties of lavender you can pick this holiday weekend. 
 Buena Vista
Royal Velvet
Purple Bouquet

 We will be open on Saturday and Sunday from 9 -3.

Even Gracie can't resist the smell of lavender.

1 comment:

Doreen said...

Good Morning Karen ~ It was SO very lovely to meet you this weekend. Looking forward to getting to know you better and to next years Festival.

hugs, Doreen

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